Embrace 'hospital medicine' approach to improve quality

Hospitals' own brand of medicine should be a part of the public health conversation, according to a new blog post.

Though much of the conversation on public health centers on ensuring access to primary care, hospitals and the broad spectrum of care that hospitalists can provide should be a key component in that as well, according to a new blog post.

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Hospital medicine was developed to provide better acute care in hospitals, according to Arian Hatefi, M.D., a professor of hospital medicine at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine; Madhavi Dandu, M.D., a medical professor at UCSF; and Robert Wachter, M.D., chair of the school’s department of medicine, in a blog post for Health Affairs.

A hospital-specific approach should be employed in tandem with a push for better access to primary care, as public health both nationally and globally cannot function with just one leading the way, they wrote.

“An either/or world of hospitals or PHC [primary healthcare] is both dogmatic and unrealistic, and has potential to constrain healthcare system effectiveness,” they wrote.

Hospitals can approach this shift by focusing training on a “hospital medicine” style. Doing so is a cost-effective solution, according to the blog, and will not siphon funds from PHC, either. Emphasizing new approaches can also filter down to medical education in general, as different branches of medicine can benefit from focusing on training that benefits their specific area.